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The Last Word

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Israel 24, Iraq 13, Us 11, Washington 7, Obama 5, United States 5, Hollywood 4, Benjamin Netanyahu 4, Google 4, Netanyahu 4, Daniel 4, U.s. 3, Sean Penn 3, Richard Wolf 3, California 3, Duracell 2, Paul Ryan 2, Espn 2, Roberts 2, Chantix 2,
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  MSNBC    The Last Word    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    March 20, 2013
    7:00 - 7:59pm PDT  

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the republican party right now is going through a period of reflection, especially about the issue of its own connection with the american people. why is it people see this president and his party as being more in touch than, say, the stuffy old men of the republican party, which is the term their party chairman used to describe the image of his party this week. on monday, the chairman of the republican party, reince priebus, tried to head off members of his party and the conservative movement from attacking the president on the basketball thing again this year. he told politico that they have divorced from the future. they complained about the president quote talking hoops for a half hour on espn. he said it is time for republicans to get smarter about these things. quote, i think we've got to get with it. okay. so right. so the president does something normal and human relatable to
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most people in the country, try not to attack him for that one thing. take on the president on policy, if you're going to beat him, do it on substance. reince priebus is getting with it. the rest of the republican party is not getting with this. soon after the president appeared this year on espn, it was like clock work. the chair of the republican study committee issued a statement saying president obama's ncaa bracket is a shocking failure of leadership. house republican conference put this video on youtube, echoing the same complaint. how dare he. all kinds of congressional republicans, including house speaker john boehner went on twitter insisting obama should stop this outrage of liking sports. get off my lawn! it is march madness, republican style. the first day of spring, the annual opportunity for house republicans to turn over an old leaf they know they shouldn't turn over any more but they
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can't stop themselves. also clearly it is going to be gonzaga. that does it for us tonight. see you tomorrow night. right now, time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great evening. tonight, here in washington, we now know that when the president's away, republicans will play the same budget games they play when he's here. >> the united states of america stands with the state of israel. >> obama in israel for the first time as president. >> joking with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu that it was good to get from congress. >> you only tease the ones you love. >> i see this visit as an opportunity. >> this trip is heavy on symbolism. >> what is he taking away. >> he and netanyahu had their
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differences. >> we know he was sort of a supporter of romney. >> netanyahu preferred romney over obama. >> trying to influence an american election. >> there's a lot of water under the bridge. >> i think it is absolutely outrageous. >> you only tease the ones you love. >> some republicans coil at the party plans for the future. >> i know what our principles are. >> the chairman is in the hot seat. >> i am looking to get into communities in the hundreds. >> show up any time. >> i know what our principles are. >> it is what you say and do when you get there matters most to people. >> our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman. >> they haven't changed their policies. >> house republicans tomorrow vote on the ryan budget. >> notorious paul ryan budget. >> putting out yet again a budget. >> an actual budget, political manifesto or long term liability? >> we are not going to refight the past. >> our budget and your budget
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contrast. >> what happens next? republican rebranding week continues to go, well, badly. especially if you listen to republicans. >> if any party needed rebooting, our party did, but i don't know, i looked at the press conference, read some of the documents and i'm left wondering whether these people get it. >> one reliable element of the republican base, the christian right, is feeling left out. according to buzzfeed, the word christian doesn't appear once, nor does the word church, abortion and marriage, the two issues that most animate social conservatives are nowhere to be found. there's nothing about the need to protect religious liberty or promote judeo-christian values in society. today, the party that says it can no longer survive as the party of the rich acted like the
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party of the rich, when house republicans paved the way for passage tomorrow of paul ryan's budget that cuts taxes for the rich. that budget, of course, does not include stimulus spending, but a just released gallup pole shows a mere 72% of americans support a federal government spending program designed to create more than one million new jobs. that also has majority support among republicans. freshman republican congressman thomas massey told a roomful of reporters today you know, i'm new here, but what i'm learning is that the budget is just kind of a guideline. we know it is dead on arrival, we know it is a pretend vote. here is speaker boehner reacting to something president obama was cause saying on his arrival in israel today. >> i would rather be heckled
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than ignored. you only tease the ones you love. >> he is willing to more than tease the ones he love. >> apparently republicans are willing to tease various parts of the base to make them think we have a plan. it is really not much of a plan, it is kind of the part of the problem they don't seem to understand, the policies don't match up with what they say their values are. that's the problem. instead, what they say is let's not talk about those things, those things, those value voter things that get us in trouble, let's not talk about rape and all of that messy stuff, and then fool people. that's the real joke. >> listen to rush limbaugh's take on the new rebranding of the republican party. >> they go out, lose elections and blame everybody else. they're running the party, we're not. safe to say? i mean, they're getting the
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nominees they want, and losing, and it is our fault for being exclusive? we're not excluding anybody. >> my favorite thing in there is the way rush distances himself from this republican nominee who was running for president last year, who rush had nothing to do with. it is always fun to watch him worshipping that republican nominee, then trashing the republican nominee as soon as the republican nominee loses. >> right. and it is not our fault, what did we do? you did a lot, you did everything. remember, there were tons of people who agreed, who rush agreed with who favored all the policies that rush favors, but because they were crazy or off the deep end politically, they couldn't make it, so mitt romney ended up being the nominee. the problems of the republican party are way beyond mitt romney and i think the problem that the republican party finds itself in is that i believe that the first 12 pages of that autopsy, gop autopsy, were brutally honest.
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it was probably the truest thing you will ever get out of the republican party in terms of themselves. >> but so obvious. >> we know it is obvious. talking about a party that couldn't see the writing on the wall that we could all see. their mistake, the second mistake among many, but second mistake, how do you put out this autopsy on monday and then not follow it up on tuesday with okay, here is what we're going to do on policy. they say this is not a policy document but they don't follow it up with anything. >> can i say having done this with howard dean after john kerry lost, it is not, a, it is not just again, you have to understand the obvious about where your flaws are, but you also have to go to the whole party, say we have to figure out how to be a true party, what are our values and policies, how are we dealing with candidates that may not agree with us on certain policy issues knowing here is where the electorate is. that's not what's happening. this is more let's do brutally
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honest, obvious to the rest of us, also let's say sh, we are not talking about those things. we have seen the polling, gets us in trouble, put lipstick on this, put a bow on that, and say we're a brand new party. that's not how it works. you can put all the organizers in iowa you want for four years. if you're not able to communicate through values and policies people agree with, it doesn't matter. >> michael steele, saw him on this network today saying that what you're watching is certain republicans are going out there and trying new ideas out there in the marketplace of ideas, and this is the way it should happen. it should be in effect free-lanced by senators and notable republicans that say i'm moving this way on immigration, for example. michael steele seems to think this is kind of working. >> sure, because it is not at the presidential level. folks in the senate showing, marco rubio, rand paul, senators on immigration, but the problem
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they're going to have is when they take -- when 2016 happens and they decide whether they're going to run for president when the base of the party starts smacking back, will this leadership they're showing, however nuanced, will that be the case when they decide to run for president. that's where the rough will be. i am not convinced that the courage we see now is what we will see in a year when they have to say to voters look, you're killing our party. we have to change. you must follow me. it requires leadership. i'm just not convinced it will happen. >> karen, you worked within the democratic national committee, within the party offices where i don't think i have ever been. >> i am sure they would love to have you. >> it is a different experience, isn't it? this is not a thing i understand. isn't this a constant frustration in party headquarters when looking out there at your party. >> yeah. >> that people are saying you're supposed to be able to control and in the modern world, how do you do that?
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they all raise their own money or they can if they want to. they don't really need to. >> you know, the best thing you can do is have a strong apparatus underneath that can help candidates get elected. party of the goal of the 50 state strategy. >> what's included in that effort? >> what that would mean, you go to the chairman of a state party like ohio where you need to win, say we're going to hire you, do an analysis what it would take to win in ohio. you need this kind of tech person, these field organizers, we're going to pay for that. they're going to report to you, but we're paying for it. that's our leverage as the party. we also are building a national database, we're going to improve our technology, by the way, so that when our nominee comes in, they can build in right on top of that and be plug and play, ready to go as we saw with president obama. so it is a matter of what things can the party actually do, whether it is kind of trying to clean up some of the state parties where there are problems, where there are barriers to getting elected or trying to make sure the resources are there where you
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can to ensure your candidates will have what they need to get elected. >> but ultimately, jonathan, all that has to drive is a set of policies. >> yes, right. >> that adheres to somewhat in the neighborhood of 51% of voters. >> or 50.1%. from rush limbaugh to others with giant megaphones, they aren't ready to deal with where the nation is on marriage equality, reproductive issues. >> i also think on the republican party side they need to stop listening to rush limbaugh. it is such a joke he doesn't run the party. they're so terrified of him, so terrified of angering him or crossing him. they never stand up to him. let him call that wonderful girl a [bleep]. that's not right. >> the reason i use his clips on the show, you have to understand
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on the republican world what karen is saying. these guys if they go this far, take one more step that way, then they have rush limbaugh to deal with, and he will always have activists in every congressional district to respond to what he, rush limbaugh says. >> i don't care what fox news says, sorry, in the democratic party, what we say on msnbc doesn't necessarily shake terror in the fear of the president or our candidates. >> karen finney, jonathan capehart. thank you for joining me from washington. coming up, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu welcomed president obama today, after netanyahu appeared to do everything he could during the presidential campaign to help mitt romney. and ten years after the start of the iraq war the verdict is in on who was right and who was wrong about going to war in iraq. tonight, we salute those who were right. ess pro.
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as president obama visits israel, the israeli embassy in the united states tries its best to convince everyone that they're best buddies. the israeli embassy actually released this very strange little video to try to make that point. >> warmly welcome president obama to israel. express our appreciation for what he has done for us. >> the bond between the united states and israel are unbreakable. the commitment of the united states to the security of israel is ironclad. ♪ thank you for being a friend,
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and that's why it is a pleasure to welcome you here. i have to say that i heard some of your remarks a few days ago. you said that the greatest danger facing the world is of the ayatollah regime possessing nuclear weapons capability. mitt, i couldn't agree with you more. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu might have hoped to spend today giving his old boston consulting buddy mitt romney the hero's welcome as he did when the republican presidential candidate came to israel in july, and during the height of the fall campaign, netanyahu used a visit with the leader of bulgaria to make international headlines with this swipe at president obama. >> the world tells israel wait, there's still time. and i say wait for what?
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wait until when? those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel. >> that comment led "time" magazine to say this the next day on morning joe. >> i don't think i've ever in the 40 years i have been doing this, trying to search my mind through history, have heard of another example of an american ally trying to push us into war as blatantly and trying to influence an american election as blatantly as netanyahu and the party in israel is doing now. i think it is absolutely outrageous and disgusting. it is not a way that friends treat each other and it is cynical and it is brazen.
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>> today, benjamin netanyahu had to literally roll out the red carpet for president obama and say thank you to israel's real best friend. >> thank you, thank you for standing by israel at this time of historic change in the middle east. thank you for unequivocally afirming israel's sovereign right to defend itself by itself against any threat. thank you for enhancing israel's ability to exercise that right through generous military assistance, revolutionary missile defense programs, and unprecedented security and intelligence cooperation. >> joining me now, pj crowley, former u.s. assistant secretary of state for public affairs, and richard wolf, executive editor of msnbc.com. pj, i was sitting on the morning joe set when joe klein went off
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like that on bb netanyahu. i was kind of sitting there waiting for this day today because i then believe that president obama was going to get reelected, never thought he lost that advantage, and i knew this day was coming whether the president would get off a plane in israel or netanyahu would come here and they would have to shake hands for the first time after the election. how awkward was this for bb netanyahu today? >> i mean, it is not unprecedented, and the two leaders are doing what they need to do. >> yes, they are, now they are. >> they're going to be with each other for as long as the israeli coalition lasts, which may be a year or two, and of course, for the four years of the obama term. so they're making the most of the relationship. but underneath that, there is unprecedented cooperation between the united states and israel. the strategic relationship has never been better. but netanyahu knows on the other side of the coin bill clinton,
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you know, weighed into the israeli political campaign in 1998, you go back to george h.w. bush and jim baker had a very tense relationship with former israeli prime minister shamir over settlements and loan guarantees, so the tension is real but not unprecedented, but you can manage it because of deep cooperation that the two countries have on a variety of issues to both. >> richard wolf, at the time there were people in israel saying what joe klein was saying. >> right. >> it was very controversial thing that bb netanyahu was doing, given that he worked literally in the same office with mitt romney in boston years ago, there was just plenty of suspicion around the whole thing. when president obama arrives there today, i assume there's going to be, there was
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absolutely none of that from president obama, seemed like all the burden was on netanyahu today to try to make up for what he had done during the campaign. >> right. let's be clear. this is more awkward situation for the israeli prime minister than it is for the american president. the israeli prime minister is the guy that screwed up. and by the way, there are other examples where actually the bush administration tried to interfere with a german election with a runup to the war in iraq, they tried to steer it one way, didn't work. generally foreign countries don't like it and you look stupid as an ally and you have to work with them when you try to intervene in an election and it doesn't work. he has unfounded economies about commitment to israel given what his public statements are. president bush, last president bush didn't visit israel until the end of his second term. president reagan never visited. apparently republicans think that still isn't sufficient. the very fact that this
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president gave a speech to the arab and muslim world early in his presidency is enough of a question mark. and netanyahu has to get beyond that. obviously the president in dealing with all the various challenges has to get through this as well. they are both bigger politicians and bigger international players than this particular spat. >> the day after the election, in the "the new york times," it said this about what netanyahu had done in the campaign. what took place this time was a breaking of all the rules. when our prime minister intervened in the u.s. elections in the name of an american billionaire with a clear interest in the vote, the very same billionaire who used israel's prime minister to advance a nominee of his own for president, billionaire, talking about sheldon adelson. the question, within the politics of israel, it was on netanyahu to make good, make
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things better from where they were in the presidential campaign? >> sure. there are two sides of a coin here. one, president obama has a 10% approval rating in israel, and it is in his interest to not only, you know, cooperate with netanyahu and his government but as he will in his conversation to college students during his visit to israel, you know, talk directly to the israeli people. i think a case can be made that he has not done enough of that during his first term. prime minister netanyahu who was unelected in the '90s because of the gap between himself and israel's best friend is wary about getting in that situation again because this coalition is weaker than the one led last year. it could potentially develop into a political issue, given that there are underneath all of this very significant issues.
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syria, iran, and other issues in the region to manage. >> richard wolf, for a president not running again, what are the politics of this visit for president obama? >> well, i don't know that it is a political calculation for domestic american politics. there are obviously a whole series of challenges in the region that he has to deal with. in particular, how do you balance out responding to the situation in syria that's terrible, awful humanitarian crisis there, and the strategic difficulties of trying to deal with iran and hold or build a coalition to deal with that. i think it is international politics, not american. >> thank you both for joining me tonight. coming up, ten years after the start of the iraq war let's remember the wise people who were right about how wrong it was for us to invade iraq. in the "rewrite," a 12-year-old boy's letter to the chief justice of the united
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as the supreme court prepares to address marriage equality, a 12-year-old boy pleads with chief justice roberts to let his parents marry. the boy's video letter is in tonight's "rewrite."
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and next, when we talk of heroes of the iraq war, that group must include the wise voices in this country that were raised in opposition to invading iraq. the heroes who got it right when right and wrong really mattered are next.
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talk to your doctor about toviaz. ten years ago at this hour american military forces were completing the first full day of the u.s. invasion of iraq. it is worth remembering on this day who was right about the iraq war and who was wrong. >> what i do oppose is a dumb war. what i do oppose is a rash war. >> barack obama was right about the invasion of iraq. the vice president of the united states was wildly and tragically wrong. >> simply stated there is no doubt that saddam hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. >> dick cheney was a trained foreign policy expert.
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so was colin powell. >> indeed, the facts and iraq's behavior show that saddam hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction. >> the national debate over going to war in iraq was heavily lopsided in favor of war. in the united states senate, the war resolution passed with 77 votes, only 23 senators opposed it, including only one republican rhode island senator rink on chafee. >> what concerns me most is the pattern we see applied to iraq, that is abandoning of our alliances and willing to be preemptive without any real evidence of weapons of mass destruction. >> in the house of representatives the war resolution passed with 296 votes. 133 house members voted against it, including a congresswoman from san francisco who was working her way up the leadership ladder. >> let's do what is
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proportionate, appropriate, which mitigates risk for our young people, another cost in addition to human lives, cost to terrorism and cost to the economy and another cost to our budget. this cost can be unlimited, unlimited. there is no political solution on the ground in iraq. let's not be fooled by that. >> thanks to the much maligned hollywood liberals, there were actually more famous actors against the war than there were members of congress against the war. the first actor i heard speak out against going to war in iraq was then playing the president of the united states in an emmy award winning television series. >> by some demented form of logic, the men, women and children of iraq are relegated to collateral damage as the dogs of war slouch towards baghdad. >> and yes, standing with martin
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sheen were his fellow "west wing" cast members. if martin was the first actor to speak out, his california neighbor sean penn was the second. >> there's no question in my mind that this conflict can be resolved peacefully. >> yes, that is the same sean penn that is frequently ridiculed for his political opinions. sean penn and martin sheen did not go to the fletcher school of diplomacy, they were not and are not trained foreign policy professionals. they were just right. and the trained foreign policy professionals were very, very wrong. >> every statement i make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. these are not assertions. what we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. >> it was hard being against the invasion of iraq. it was especially hard to make that argument on fox news, but some were brave enough to do it.
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>> are there any circumstances where you would think war with iraq is appropriate? >> i guess those circumstances have not revealed themself yet. i think this will be one of the worst chapters in american history if it is perceived by the arab world that a u.s.-led invasion that was not justified, not in self defense goes forward. international law matters. the u.n. is not irrelevant. >> citing international law in those days could make you a laughing stock on television, but janine garofalo hung in there, she was ridiculed mercilessly. the prowar world, including republicans and democrats tried to turn her into a lefty hollywood caricature. none of them have ever apologized, even though they now know that she was right and the president of the united states was wrong and his highly trained foreign policy team and war
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policy team was wrong. >> the problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons, but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. >> we all remember that howard dean was right about the invasion of iraq and michael moore was right. and when michael moore won an oscar in 2003, in his acceptance speech he spoke of a president, quote, sending us to war for fictitious reasons. and he was booed in hollywood by a large segment of the oscar audience in that theater that night. the long list of actors opposed to invading iraq included diane carol, done cheat he will, matt damon, great comedy writer larry
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gelbart was opposed, as was the oscar winning writer paul hagas. what were the odds of them being right? they didn't have daily briefings from the cia or daily access to intelligence, they didn't have any academic or professional training in war or diplomacy, but they figured it out and they were right. so was samuel l. jackson, jessica lange, tea leoni, wendy mal i can, tony shall ub, lily tomlin, james whitmore, they were dismissed as hollywood lefties that didn't know what they were talking about, but they were right and everyone that dismissed them and called them names was wrong. susan sarandon was against the war, but her opposition was called just another one of her liberal causes. the decision to go to war in iraq was the most important decision that washington faced in the 21st century.
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when faced with that decision, some rose to the occasion and some did not. being right never mattered more. and now we know who was right and who was wrong. >> and it is wrong for congress to declare war against iraq now before we have exhausted the alternatives. >> a brutal dictator with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the united states. >> all we get from this administration is rhetoric. >> it is clear, however, if left unchecked, saddam hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. >> he doesn't have a navy, can't shoot down -- didn't shoot down one of our airplanes in 12 years, army is one-third what it
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was 12 years ago. >> the choice to remove saddam hussein from power will leave us with few choices later when his acquisition of nuclear weapons will make it more dangerous to defend our friends in the region. >> there's no proof that iraq represents an imminent or immediate threat to the united states of america. >> this is a very difficult vote. this is probably the hardest decision i've ever had to make. any vote that might lead to war should be hard. but i cast it with conviction. >> i will repeat, there is no proof that iraq represents an imminent or immediate threat to the united states. >> saddam hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risk to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. >> what will the cost be to
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rebuild iraq? how long would our troops have to stay there? would our troops become a target for terrorism? >> the gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. >> i cannot vote for a blank check for unilateral action. >> there are known knowns, there are things we know we know. we also know there are known unknowns, that is to say we know there are things we do not know, but there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know. >> authorizing the preemptive go it alone use of force right now, which is what the resolution before us calls for, in the midst of continuing efforts to enlist the world community to back a tough new disarmament resolution on iraq could be a very costly mistake for our country. >> and if war is forced upon us
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we will fight with the full force and might of the united states military and we will prevail. >> mr. president, before we unleash what thomas jefferson calls the dogs of war, i want to know, have we exhausted every avenue of peace? >> being right mattered. how president bush's war team got it so wrong is the story told in the documentary hubris, the selling of the war in iraq. that will be replayed here friday at 9:00 p.m., followed by discussion hosted by chris hayes, talking hubris at 10:00 p.m. is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. life brings obstacles. usaa brings retirement advice. retty conservative. very logical thinker. (laughs) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home.
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(mom) i raised my son to be careful... hi, sweetie. hi, mom. (mom) but just to be safe... i got a subaru. (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. for current and former military members and their families. get advice from the people who share your values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa. >> announcer: did you know there are secret black market websites around the world that sell stolen identities? >> 30-year-old american man, excellent credit rating. >> announcer: lifelock monitors thousands of these sites 24 hours a day. and if we discover any of our members' data for sale, lifelock is there with the most comprehensive identity theft protection available. [♪...]
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♪ in tonight's "rewrite," rewriting the defense of marriage act, out of existence. the supreme court next week will consider constitutionality of defense of marriage act and california's ban on same sex marriage known as proposition 8. "the washington post" points out the nine member supreme court as currently constituted is actually a true reflection of the modern family in america. there's a widow who was a pioneer of the modern marriage. and someone who never wed. two divorcees. a husband that married relatively late in life and adopted two children. another is a prolific procreator
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with enough children to field a baseball team and enough grandchildren to form a basketball league. one is in an interracial marriage, which would have been illegal in his state only 20 years before his wedding. but it is that husband that married relatively late in life that adopted two children who was noticed by one northern california family that is intensely watching these supreme court cases, particularly the case dealing with california's proposition 8. daniel martinez lefew was a 12-year-old adopted along with his sister by a gay couple. he was told he was unadoptable because he has a medical condition called goldenhar syndrome. he was unadoptable until age five when his two dads, brian and jay, took him into their loving home. now daniel is hoping the supreme court will make it possible for his dads to get married.
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he has written a letter to chief justice john roberts, himself the father of two adopted kids. daniel has shared that letter online. >> justice roberts, my name is daniel. i am 12 years old and live in northern california. i have a younger sister named selena. we were adopted by two guys. we were adopted when i was five and my sister was about 12 months old. when i was in foster care, i was told i was considered unadoptable because of my goldenhar syndrome, a genetic disorder that effects the left side of my body. i lost my little brother ameal i don't see because some people wanted to adopt him but they wouldn't adopt me because of my medical condition. lucky for me, that's when my two dads came along. i recently found out that you yourself adopted two kids, a boy and a girl, kind of like me and my sister. family means a lot of different
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things to different people, but some people believe that you have to have the same blood to be a family. you and i both know that family goes deeper than blood. i was lucky to be adopted by two guys. they give me and my sister so much love. my dad jay works in san francisco as a deputy sheriff and my dad brian stays at home and takes care of me and my sisters. my dads encourage me to excel in life. since i want to be a cook when i grow up, they're letting me take cooking classes. my parents want me to improve, whether it is school work or my social life. i know you have a tough decision to make with the gay marriage issue, but my family is just as valuable and worthwhile as any other. it is especially tough for you because i know you don't necessarily believe in gay marriage religiously. lucky for us, you also don't
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believe in taking away our right, even for people like us. my family and i spent the last four years making youtube videos to show people who don't understand that our family is like any other. if prop 8 is allowed to stand, imagine the pain we would feel knowing that we are not considered equal to everyone else. i guess to end this, it is important all families are protected and valued. in our country we may not all be the same, but we are all americans and deserve an equal chance at bettering our lives. i hope you make the right decision in the end. sincerely, daniel. ♪
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last year stephanie holten
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went to a judge in spokane, washington asking for protective order against her ex-husband. she wrote he verbally threatened to put a gun in your mouth and pull the [bleep] trigger and put a cap in you if my boyfriend gets near my kids. in combination with the threat and that he owns guns, i am scared. 12 hours after her husband, cory, was served with the temporary protection order, he went to her house with a semi automatic rifle, put the muzzle to her chest, and told her he was going to kill her. she called 911 and her husband surrendered to police. but up to that pointed, what he didn't have to surrender, was his guns. washington state like most states doesn't require people to surrender their guns for temporary protective orders. that's left up to the judge. according to michael luo, the
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nra and other gun rights groups have beaten back legislation mandating surrender of firearms in domestic violence situations. they argue gun ownership shouldn't be stripped away for anything less serious than a felony conviction, and certainly not, as an nra lobbyist in washington state put it to legislators, for the mere issuance of court orders. joining me now, msnbc.com contributing journalist frank smythe who went inside the nra for mother jones. frank, this seems to me to be one of those areas where the nra is just obsessive, they're not willing to give up this gun right even for these hundreds of cases. this is not some giant swathe of people surrendering guns temporarily. >> and the nra likes to think in terms of hypotheticals. they had gail trotter come out and claim a woman needs an ar-15 to defend herself and her
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children in her home, but we're not talking in the real world of hypotheticals, we are talking about women intimidated, beaten, injured, killed by men subject to restraining orders and still have their firearms. this is reprehensible and bullying at its worst, and the nra doesn't seem to have interest in addressing that. in the contrary, they want to be sure that men in particular continue to have access to the firearms. i think it is something that will hurt the nra in the long run and also hurt the republican party to the degree they continue to ally with the nra. >> they have to reach adjudication, that there is something potentially threatening going on here. everybody that walks in and asks for protective order doesn't get it if they don't establish that the husband or whoever it is in question is posing some sort of danger. >> that's right. the judge needs to be satisfied